RIGID riders: What bars, grips for comfort? Hands are getting beat up!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    AKA Pat McGroin
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    RIGID riders: What bars, grips for comfort? Hands are getting beat up!

    So, I did a longish 35 mi. ride on my rigid ss yesterday and the heel of my hand is pretty tender! Been happy with Ergon marathon grips with short bar ends, forget their model number, but they have minimal padding just hard rubber and rely on the shape to dissipate the shock. The area trails have some decent root sections which are a blast to attack and carry speed through, and there are some small stream beds that you slam down into and immediately hit the bank on the other side. These also have a high rock content, so the hard hits are getting to my hands.
    What's a really compliant bar and or grip? I already have a carbon fork on the front, just want to avoid putting a lock out fork on the bike and add weight. Also prefer the sharp steering I get with the rigid.
    Help!

  2. #2
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    Oury for life.

  3. #3
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    I like Ourys too. Have them on my FS, but I'm running Renthal Kevlar grips on a Atomlab Pimplite high rise bar on the El Mar SS. I do switch back and forth between rigid and suspension. I put way more miles on the ss, too. The Renthals take a little time to break in, but after are softer and grippier.

  4. #4
    Birdman aka JMJ
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    Oury grips all around, with 26" low rise carbon bars (Easton or Forte, 25.4mm clamp diameter). I have a ti fork on my rigid SS, so that helps too.

    JMJ
    Last edited by Birdman; 08-30-2017 at 07:10 AM.

  5. #5
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    Specialized Contour Locking grips. They have a two part rubber. The area where the heel of your hand is is very soft. I also like that they are wider and you can rest your hands wide open.

    I tried the Ergon grips and these are much softer. You can't lose for $20 set either.
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  6. #6
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    I run the large Ergon grips on a Giant carbon bar I picked up on closeout. Ultimately, even that with a decent steel fork wasn't enough to keep the age and milage on my elbows from pushing me into a suspension fork, but the Ergon grip/carbon bar combination worked really well for me in terms of my hands. Their large grips fit my hands well, I can relax when I'm hold on them without them rattling around in my hand and beating my hands up for no good reason.

  7. #7
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    ODI Rogue grips on everything.

    Bars vary but all still aluminum. I've found that it isn't the type of bar, but rather the width of the bar and length of the stem to get my wrists in the right angle/position. That said, a good carbon bar should hopefully give some vibration dampening and larger grips should help to relieve any death grip. I found that my problem was hand/wrist position and a vice grip when using smaller grips. I have not liked Ergons, just couldn't get used to the size of the grip.

    Also, Togs could help to relieve some hand issues as another alternative.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  8. #8
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    Bigger tyres, lower psi solves a lot of those issues.
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  9. #9
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    28" Ti Luv Handle bar, ESI Chunky Grips and a 2.5" WTB Breakout tire up front at ~19 psi do the trick.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken C View Post
    28" Ti Luv Handle bar, ESI Chunky Grips and a 2.5" WTB Breakout tire up front at ~19 psi do the trick.
    What he said.

    I have been riding rigid ss for 10 years and nothing beats a quality titanium bar with ESI chunky grips. Black sheep and Seven cycles handlebars have been the most flexy and best for me at absorbing the hits for my 45 year old wrists and palms. But, I also would recommend Jones or the Groovy cycles Ti luv handles.

    Thomson and Salsa Ti bars are stiff and don't provide enough sweep for my liking for single speed duty. Try riding a friend's bike who has one of the above bars and or grips or after a group ride and get a feel for what you may like.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mariop View Post
    What he said.

    Try riding a friend's bike who has one of the above bars and or grips or after a group ride and get a feel for what you may like.
    Yeah, because that's an easy one to find. Everyone is riding Ti bars, much less Jones or Groovy.

    Btw, round grips will never offer the support of a contoured grip. If the OP has hand discomfort/pain, he needs something other than round grips that tend to be narrow in diameter.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    ...he needs something other than round grips that tend to be narrow in diameter.
    Ourys are anything but narrow.

  13. #13
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    IMHOMO, it's a lot more than just grips and bars.

    Rigid (most of the time) since 2004. Long rides (think 24 hour solo racing, multi-day stage races, hundies, etc).

    My thought out opinion on the things that make riding rigid tolerable or at least less painful.

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    Also a fan of TOGS now.

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    And for what it's worth, I recently sold the sweet Step Cast 100mm fork I bought last year. I had intended to use it when I felt like speed mattered or I wanted a break from the rigid (and when not wanting to ride my 120mm travel SS which is built up for Pisgah). I just prefer the rigid too much for pretty much the same reason you stated.
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  14. #14
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    I'll second ourys.....i have tendanitus and arthritis in both my hands. I have tried every one of ergons models over the past 2 years and the ourys are by far the softest and most comfortable grip.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky View Post
    IMHOMO, it's a lot more than just grips and bars...
    As an erstwhile 24 hour racer I agree with teamdicky. It's well worth reading his links there.

    As teamdicky says, the important thing is riding position, and mine is set up for taking impacts primarily through my feet. That's a more vertical position than the ideal mtb xc racer - but those guys are athletes, as fit as any olympian so their bodies and reactions are way better for the job than the average mtb rider.

    But it's also a good idea to reduce the impact at source, hence my earlier recommendation for bigger tyres and lower pressures.

    For my hands I've found that a substantial sweep back on the bars is a big help, but what suits one may not another. For me it's a nearly parallel hand position so I can ride with "loose" hands. That can be achieved with either a big sweepback, drop bars, or bar ends. It's worth a try but bear in mind the handlebar to stem relationship so you may need a longer/shorter stem depending on your handlebar.

    I'm not really convinced by gel on the bars. It certainly is more comfortable initially, but I am suspicious of it after using a gel saddle - initial comfort, but it seems to spread the pain universally over all surfaces, whereas with a hard saddle you can always shift slightly and get relief. For example I can ride my 1960s road bike long distances without discomfort despite its bars being taped with thin cotton tape and there's no padding whatsover.

    If you have everything right and still getting pain in your hands/wrists, then maybe it isn't the actual impacts, but high frequency vibration of the bars.

    Back when I used to ride vibrating British motorbikes, the oldtimer recommendation of a small bit of lead weight at the end of the bars did a lot to reduce or damp high frequency vibrations. It won't appeal to weight weenies, but it may be worth a try as a last resort.
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  16. #16
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    a plus sized tire will make more difference than anything and you get the bonus of way more cornering confidence; it is not light but neither is a suspension fork.

  17. #17
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    Ginger or Mary Ann?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Blue Sky View Post
    [...] the heel of my hand is pretty tender! Been happy with Ergon marathon grips with short bar ends, forget their model number, but they have minimal padding just hard rubber and rely on the shape to dissipate the shock.
    So is the basic dilemma this:

    Choice 1: Go with an ergo grip design for more palm support (spreads load), but it requires a lock-on design, which means less diameter being utilized for "give" plus grips must be made of a firmer material to maintain its shape.

    Choice 2: A cushy slip-on like Oury or ESI with max diameter (but w/o causing muscle fatigue on longer rides). Downside: they're still round (although some/all ESIs are actually oval...).

    Two ideas: PadLoc grips would seem to address your tender heels. How about Ergo grips + gloves with more palm padding? A cushy ergo doesn't seem possible, but you *can* get more padded gloves.

    Me? I always come back to ESI on a rigid SS. Sooo comfy, plus the roundish bolt-free shape has benefits: my hand grip is not constricted when standing up over the bars (hands rotate freely with body), and better when moving my hands slightly inboard (whether thumb under or over bar). I won't even use TOGS b/c I find them constrictive (and don't find they help much, anyway).

    Bar? Carbon, uncut, non-DH, dialed sweep.

  18. #18
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  19. #19
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    Ti bars and ESI grips.
    "These things are very fancy commuter bikes or really bad dirt bikes, but they are not mountain bikes." - J. Mac

  20. #20
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    I've always rode on Oury grips. 2 years ago my hands were sore after a ride. Traded out my soft leather palm gloves for a pair with padding. Made a big difference. Almost put a shock on before the gloves.

    Good luck

  21. #21
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    Race Face Next Carbon bar and ESI Chunkys.

  22. #22
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    Jones Bend bars with Ergon BioCorks keep my wrists and hands happy, seated or standing.

  23. #23
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    I recently switched to an Answer 20-20 bar and it feels very nice. I developed elbow problems with my previous bar, and I'm hopeful the Answer 20-20 will let me continue with rigid. I've always been satisfied with ESI Chunky grips, and I'm continuing to use those.

  24. #24
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    Full time full rigid all this year. Long time user of Esi Chunkies. Switched to Monkey grips on a whim. They're already starting to wear. Esi's back soon.

    I tend to ride light on the bike, if that makes sense. Float or jump stuff to alleviate some impacts. ymmv lol

  25. #25
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    The best comfort setup I've had so far is the current one. 2.6" Nobby Nic on a 30mm IW rim, carbon fork, carbon Enve bars, ODI Rogue grips.

    I've previously run a cheap steel fork (hands down the worst for ride quality), ESI extra chunky foam grips (meh), aluminum handlebars seemed ok but carbon is better, and narrower rims.

    The combination of all the component upgrades makes for a comfy and super fun setup.
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  26. #26
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    Running Yeti grips on the Race Face carbon bar now.
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  27. #27
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    Picture please.

  28. #28
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    I was getting a lot of hand and wrist numbness on my new SS so I made the following changes:

    Shortened stem from 60mm to 35MM, as I felt I was too stretched out

    added Spank Trail Vibrocore bar. I kept it as 760 to give a little more leverage when pulling on the bars going up hill. Bar has some anti vibration technology in it. Seems to make the ride a bit smoother
    Spank Bikes - OOZY Trail 760 Vibrocore™ Bar

    Added Red Monkey Karve Grips 6.5 (was using ESI chunky's)
    These are nice foam grips and they seem to be less slippery when wet with sweat or moisture

    I also run TOGS and like those a lot

  29. #29
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    I just ordered a pair of TOGS. I'm interested in trying them.
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  30. #30
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    That Vibrocore bar looks interesting. It seems expensive for an alloy bar, but if it works it might be worth it. I just wish they offered more sweep.

  31. #31
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    yeah there are not too many configurations I actually got 800 bar and kept it at that length but might cut it down. 800 takes some getting used to.....I came from a niner carbon bar and that was super stiff no real flex or give


    Quote Originally Posted by Wish I Were Riding View Post
    That Vibrocore bar looks interesting. It seems expensive for an alloy bar, but if it works it might be worth it. I just wish they offered more sweep.

  32. #32
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    Lot of good input. Thanks everyone! Switched away from Oury grips to Oury Lock ons, then to Ergons over the last 5 or 6 years. As someone pointed out, the old slip on style would be more compliant, since they forego the underlying hard plastic base. Going to go back to thatand see how it works. I recently installed a Renthal carbon bar, and that was an improvement too! I also built a WTB I 29 wheel and tried a 2.6 Nobby Nic; comfort and grip was great, but it just robbed me of too much momentum....maybe I was just having an off day?
    Currently pretty happy with Vittoria Mezcal Graphine. Yeah, surprised me, but it's nice! Large volume for a 2.25, consistant grip, decent speed. Run it at around 20 psi.
    The hands and wrists are just wearing out, I reckon, just turned 61. Ialso was fortunate to get a great deal on a used Redline Monocog, so I put a Reba with remote lockout on her. My other SS is rigid, so thinking about that Nobby Nic again for it! Man did that tire hook up!

  33. #33
    jct
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    ESI extra chunky on RF alum bars, Ti Fork and 3" chupa @ 11psi. sustained DHs can still make me tingle but overall very happy with this setup.
    i will not yield to DH traffic.

  34. #34
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    Plus one on the ESI extra chunky. Noticeably cushier than the standard chunky grips. To me anyways.

  35. #35
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    Years of ridged riding (and never going back to suspension) I use second generation jones TI H-Bars, ESI chunky grips, always padded gloves and need to ride with a loose grip on those bars. It's mostly about your grip - well I'm my opinion.

  36. #36
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    Recently tried Fabric Ergos and really like them Ergo - Fabric
    They're made out of silicon vs rubber, feel similar to Red Monkeys. The palm pad section is smaller than Ergon GS1 and about 10mm more usable round section than the GS1. Pretty squishy and working great on my 9 degree flat bars. I preferred round silicon grips on my Answer 20/20 bars, but those bars make it so difficult to mount computers and lights I went back to straight.

  37. #37
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    Grab-on mtn-1, been using these since the early 90s. I do want a bar with more sweep though, the titec hellbents I've used since the late 90s could use a bit more. Otherwise they're great too.

  38. #38
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    ESI extra chunky grips on Niner RDO 780 carbon bars, on my SS and my Fat bike too.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodpuppy View Post
    Grab-on mtn-1, been using these since the early 90s. I do want a bar with more sweep though, the titec hellbents I've used since the late 90s could use a bit more. Otherwise they're great too.
    Speaking about bars with more sweep, the new SQ Labs handlebars sound interesting. https://www.sq-lab.com/shop/en/Handlebars/MTB/ I really liked my old Salsa Bend II bars but at 710mm they're a little narrow. The Answer Pro Taper 20/20 was similar but only 720mm. I've been waiting for a wider version of either and I think it's finally here. Plus different rise options.
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  40. #40
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    Silly question (and probably asked somewhere before), but how many of you remember/have used ODI Mushroom grips? I used to love them on my BMX bikes.
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  41. #41
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    I got a pair of Rev Grips from my son in law who is sponsored by them. Its probably voodoo science, or the placebo effect, and they are expensive as hell, but I have them on my hard tail and while I cant feel much difference while riding I swear my hands are a bit less fatigued at the bottom of a bumpy descent and after the ride in general. They have little rubber shocks in the clamps and the grip doesnt actually touch the handlebar. Not sure Id pop for them if they werent free but...https://revgrips.com
    Never underestimate an old man with a mountain bike.

  42. #42
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    Interesting product.
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  43. #43
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    I use road bar tape. Just one wrap works well for me. I have a friend who has pain in his hands on long rides. I cut a dr scholls shoe liner and taped (electrical) it to the palm area of the bar. I then wrapped it with two very tight layers of road bar tape. He claims it helped. If you try it, make sure you wrap it tightly and use the type that has adhesive strip on the back. I use small wrapped leftover pieces as bar ends too. RIGID riders: What bars, grips for comfort? Hands are getting beat up!-img_20171014_130249.jpgRIGID riders: What bars, grips for comfort? Hands are getting beat up!-img_20171014_130526.jpg

  44. #44
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    Those Rev grips look interesting! Gonna try a pair.
    Last edited by Mr. Blue Sky; 10-14-2017 at 08:10 PM. Reason: spelling

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    oury for life.
    x2^^^^^^^

  46. #46
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    I'm running low rise carbon bars with ODI and Oury grips on my rigid SS's.

    I too like Oury's the best..
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  47. #47
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    Jones Bends with Ergon Bio-Corks works for me.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Blue Sky View Post
    Those Rev grips look interesting! Gonna try a pair.
    Interested too. I'd like to hear if this is a gimmick, or does it actually work?

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geralt View Post
    I recently switched to an Answer 20-20 bar and it feels very nice. I developed elbow problems with my previous bar, and I'm hopeful the Answer 20-20 will let me continue with rigid. I've always been satisfied with ESI Chunky grips, and I'm continuing to use those.
    I concur.

    I've now got two SS bikes equipped with Answer's 20/20 bars. Additionally, I use ESI's Extra Chunky grips and have TOGS installed too. Works well for me - and I was having difficulties with the typical hand numbness, etc.

  50. #50
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    Ritchey carbon low rise bars, niner carbon fork, 2.6 nobby nic @ 15.5 psi, extra chunky grips wrapped with silicon bar tape with short bar ends. Above all else - knees and elbows bent, loose grip and body English.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Speaking about bars with more sweep, the new SQ Labs handlebars sound interesting. https://www.sq-lab.com/shop/en/Handlebars/MTB/ I really liked my old Salsa Bend II bars but at 710mm they're a little narrow. The Answer Pro Taper 20/20 was similar but only 720mm. I've been waiting for a wider version of either and I think it's finally here. Plus different rise options.
    Did you try one of these?

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowpoker View Post
    Did you try one of these?
    Not yet, but I have it in my possession. I don't have a bike to try it on yet, but I plan on trying it on my upcoming Krampus build. (actually I guess I could try it on the SS, but haven't yet.)

    New development: ProTaper (formerly Answer) is finally coming out with a 810mm version of their 20/20 bar. I'm definitely buying that sucker. The thing I like about this handlebar over the SQ labs, at least on paper, is that is goes forward before angling back which won't shorten the reach.

    Obviously I need to ride them both before I draw any firm conclusions and post about it.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowpoker View Post
    Did you try one of these?
    I did my first ride (2h50min, Fromme on the North Shore) on the SQ carbon 16 degree sweep, 15mm rise yesterday after having Answer 20/20's on my mountain bike exclusively since 2014 and single speeding since 2015.

    Without overstating the obvious.. The SQ's are noticeably wider which felt weird at first but once I did a few fast descents it felt good and stable which was the thing I most wanted out of the 20/20's. I had to pull the bike around a little harder in faster tight turns but I think it's just getting used to the width, 60mm is a lot. The bar being closer to me based on the shape was my biggest concern and it's too early to tell if it'll be annoying or not but it was very noticeable. Some longer standing climbs and some technical climbing is needed to tell. I'm not wanting to get a longer stem to compensate and mess with handling too much as well so we'll see. When I laid the 20/20's on top of the SQ's from a rough look the hand position at the ends of the 20/20's looked to be very similar to the SQ. Not very scientific but it looked close. The 4 degree difference in sweep was noticeable in feel for me as well. Maybe because I have a 23 degree Salsa bend 2 on my commuter bike which I ride a lot as well and has a more similar feel to the 20/20. Same bars for 4 years and one ride on the new ones isn't the best data point but it's a start.

    I'd been wanting a wider 20/20 for years and to hear they're finally putting one out after I dropped the coin on the SQ... who knows, I may get one as I've grown so used to the shape of that bar. In the meantime the SQ will be fun to play around with. At least we have another option in a wider, carbon, swept bar.
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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Addy Marx View Post
    I did my first ride (2h50min, Fromme on the North Shore) on the SQ carbon 16 degree sweep, 15mm rise yesterday after having Answer 20/20's on my mountain bike exclusively since 2014 and single speeding since 2015.

    Without overstating the obvious.. The SQ's are noticeably wider which felt weird at first but once I did a few fast descents it felt good and stable which was the thing I most wanted out of the 20/20's. I had to pull the bike around a little harder in faster tight turns but I think it's just getting used to the width, 60mm is a lot. The bar being closer to me based on the shape was my biggest concern and it's too early to tell if it'll be annoying or not but it was very noticeable. Some longer standing climbs and some technical climbing is needed to tell. I'm not wanting to get a longer stem to compensate and mess with handling too much as well so we'll see. When I laid the 20/20's on top of the SQ's from a rough look the hand position at the ends of the 20/20's looked to be very similar to the SQ. Not very scientific but it looked close. The 4 degree difference in sweep was noticeable in feel for me as well. Maybe because I have a 23 degree Salsa bend 2 on my commuter bike which I ride a lot as well and has a more similar feel to the 20/20. Same bars for 4 years and one ride on the new ones isn't the best data point but it's a start.

    I'd been wanting a wider 20/20 for years and to hear they're finally putting one out after I dropped the coin on the SQ... who knows, I may get one as I've grown so used to the shape of that bar. In the meantime the SQ will be fun to play around with. At least we have another option in a wider, carbon, swept bar.
    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Not yet, but I have it in my possession. I don't have a bike to try it on yet, but I plan on trying it on my upcoming Krampus build. (actually I guess I could try it on the SS, but haven't yet.)

    New development: ProTaper (formerly Answer) is finally coming out with a 810mm version of their 20/20 bar. I'm definitely buying that sucker. The thing I like about this handlebar over the SQ labs, at least on paper, is that is goes forward before angling back which won't shorten the reach.

    Obviously I need to ride them both before I draw any firm conclusions and post about it.
    Thanks, fellas

  55. #55
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    Woah, wider 20/20 bars?!

    I recently put together a new SS with 20/20 bars and I really like them. Have some good rides on them eblnough to know they are keepers. But wider ones will be better most of the time.

    But sometimes I ride in tight narrow trails between trees...hmmm. 810 is going to be scary especially on those fast downhills in certain redwood forests.

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  56. #56
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    In regards to OP, I concur about Oury grips.

    I put a pair of Oury grips on my newest SS with the 20/20 bars. The grips were given to me by a friend who was going to throw them away.

    So I put them on. I like the thickness for SS.

    Yesterday I did a hilly 45 mile SS ride and I was grateful for the grips the whole time. My fork is crap, and I want to make it rigid. The grips were awesome.

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  57. #57
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    I am thinking about getting some Carver Pry bars- flat titanium bar with 5, 9, 11, etc degrees of sweep. these would replace the Kore risers I have- 20mm rise, 8.5/5 sweep, 720mm wide aluminum. since I have found the most comfort from the position of a 9 back/ 5 up riser bar, but I want to get my hands lower and go ti while I am at it. tilting a flat bar up is not the same thing as the up/back of a riser, so I am not sure if 9 or 11 degrees would be best. I just don't want so much bend that is shortens my reach and I don't want to go back to a long stem.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I am thinking about getting some Carver Pry bars- flat titanium bar with 5, 9, 11, etc degrees of sweep. these would replace the Kore risers I have- 20mm rise, 8.5/5 sweep, 720mm wide aluminum. since I have found the most comfort from the position of a 9 back/ 5 up riser bar, but I want to get my hands lower and go ti while I am at it. tilting a flat bar up is not the same thing as the up/back of a riser, so I am not sure if 9 or 11 degrees would be best. I just don't want so much bend that is shortens my reach and I don't want to go back to a long stem.
    My Ti SS has a Carver 9 handlebar. I like it enough to keep, since it cost so much and looks great. However the sensation is not remarkable.

    That's a good thing, in that it inspires confidence and doesn't budge, and probably won't break ever.

    It feels as though it never flexes at all or absorb any vibration whatsoever.

    I'm of the opinion that carbon bars offer more potential for personality. However, it is difficult to nail down what the ultimate experience is going to be.

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  59. #59
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    Interesting. The Carver bar is not cheap at $100, but it won't totally break the bank. Curious to see if it is any more forgiving than my aluminum riser.

    If nothing else, it will be a latteral move that looks cooler and drops my hands a little lower. Cheaper than most titanium and carbon options. Call me a Luddite, but I just can't bring myself to put carbon fiber on my bike.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Burns View Post
    Woah, wider 20/20 bars?!
    So a little update about this handlebar. It's not a thing. There was a mistake on the website, two websites actually, and the 810 version doesn't exist.

    The standard 20/20 is still available, but no plans to make it wider at this point. Bummer.

    As for other bars my favorite so far is hands down the Enve 760mm 31.8 bar currently on my SS. It honestly rides so nice. There's a good amount of flex every time I want it (drops, roots, choppy stuff), but never feels noodly or non confidence inspiring. It's absolutely awesome on a rigid bike. Very noticeable ride quality improvement over any aluminum bars I've used. It's also the only Enve product that's not painfully expensive. I think it was $160 retail, vs others like the Niner RDO handlebar that's $200. It's not cheap, but worth every penny IMO.

    I could handle a little more sweep, I still haven't tried the SQ labs bar, but will soon I swear.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  61. #61
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    I have an SQlabs 30mm rise/16 bar coming this later week. Had been thinking about a shorter stem to reduce reach but will try this bar vs my 25mm rise/9 bar first. same length at 780mm, will report back next week.

  62. #62
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    I run wide carbon flat bars with ESI Chunky grips too. JUST installed a pair of TOGS and look forward to trying them out today. I've used Ergon grips for years but found that having the outer palm on the flats resulted in 2-3 fingers securely gripping the bar making it insanely uncomfortable. I also think a higher volume front tire helps. I've been running a Maxxis Ardent 2.4 on the front which seems to help quite a bit. I've never considered a ti bar but may in the future. Lovin' everyone's responses!
    MCH Co-Captain

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    Which Enve bar do you have? I went to their site and think I would choose the M5 based solely on the width of 760mm. It is odd that the Enve bar is cheaper than the SQLab carbon bar. I wish I could try both.

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    I'll be looking forward to you feedback. I'm wondering if a 12* bar is too similar to normal bars, making the 16* better for trying something more different than normal.

    I am also impressed by you using the degree symbol! I'm too lazy to find it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    So a little update about this handlebar. It's not a thing. There was a mistake on the website, two websites actually, and the 810 version doesn't exist.

    The standard 20/20 is still available, but no plans to make it wider at this point. Bummer.
    Total bummer... I'll be sticking with the SQlabs for now.

    I've got about 14-15h of trail time on the carbon 16 degree, 15mm rise version between the North Shore and Squamish. Not rigid but a comparison between the 20/20 I'd been on for many years before...

    I love the width which was my biggest request of the 20/20. The added 60mm gives such a stable feel when descending, especially at speed.

    Climbing and standing climbing feels good and thankfully my knees don't hit the bar which was my biggest concern as they lack the curved shape at the stem of the 20/20. I really did not want to increase stem length to compensate for this and as it stands I don't think I will. On dirt road climbs it feels a little wide but I'm willing to give it a pass at this point as I continue to get used to it. A multi day trip is in order to see if that will be a deal breaker.

    I still do notice that the bar is closer to me than the 20/20 due to a combination of the lack of curve at the stem and width. There were a couple moments on steep technical descents that I felt over the bars a bit especially when my front wheel hung up a bit. Perhaps a combination of the width moving my arms further apart and my body closer to the bars. I also experienced this a couple times when my front wheel caught a bit of a hole that I had to push through. It's more of a proprioceptive response that I'll adjust to overtime than a gripe.

    Some may care about aesthetics others may not. For those who do I really love the finish and the understated graphics. Then again I'm also one to sharpie over the logos on my tires and wear black t-shirts when I ride so theres that haha.

    Overall I'm very happy with the feel of the SQlab and my comments are based more on a comparison to the 20/20 and me getting used to the new shape/width/feel. For a wide swept carbon bar there doesn't seem to be anything else available at the moment so good on SQlab for filling a bit of a gap for us.

    FWIW I use ergon gs1's (L) and a 140mm fork. Yes I know, very not rigid but the above was more for comparative purposes. Also a reason for not commenting on flex or stiffness.
    @adamalphabet

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wish I Were Riding View Post
    I'll be looking forward to you feedback. I'm wondering if a 12* bar is too similar to normal bars, making the 16* better for trying something more different than normal.

    I am also impressed by you using the degree symbol! I'm too lazy to find it.
    Yeah, i did a rough measurement and felt like my most comfortable riding position would be at around 20. Didn't necessarily want to jump that far so I decided to go with the 16 for now.

    The degrees symbol is easy, alt+248 on a pc keyboard. it becomes pretty natural after a few times.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wish I Were Riding View Post
    I'll be looking forward to you feedback. I'm wondering if a 12* bar is too similar to normal bars, making the 16* better for trying something more different than normal.

    I am also impressed by you using the degree symbol! I'm too lazy to find it.
    Took the bar on it's maiden voyage. Results so far are promising. I made it through a 15mi ride without any issues where I was starting to feel discomfort on mile 7 or 8 with the old bar.

    I had forgotten the specs, but the SQlab bar is wider than my old one, 780mm to 750mm. With the increased angle, the reach is 50mm or so shorter, since they do not bend forward first. I had been considering a shorter stem but now don't think I'll need it.

    Steering is adequate, I don't take the rigid single speed on any gnarly trails so I don't know if I'll have any more data points for you.RIGID riders: What bars, grips for comfort? Hands are getting beat up!-20180527_214202.jpg

  68. #68
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    I just switched from an on-one knuckleball carbon (777 mm) to a SQlab 16 degree aluminum (780 mm) bar with 45 mm rise. I ride a rigid SS, 29+. The change was not revolutionary, but noticeable in a positive way. I did not feel uncomfortable with high speed downhill's, I feared that that I might. As far as grips I have used SQlabs grips, now I am using Ergon GS3. I had been an OURY purist for a decade prior to making the switch. The wider contact patch definitely distributes the impact.

  69. #69
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    "...distributes the impact."

    That's a lot to expect from bars and grips alone, but I agree that is exactly what we are seeking in the bar/grip combination.

    A rigid singlespeed really does bring this contact point into sharp focus. Small changes can be noticed. It is not a case of the 'princess and the pea'.

    I wonder why there are not any grips on the market yet which can adjust a small range of "sweep" by rotating around an elliptical core.

    Unrelated slightly, I was wondering whether I should try those Togs things, while I was riding continuously for over 8 hours last Saturday.

    I decided, no.

    But at some point, we can obtain something approximately near the ideal we seek. It's not compromise. It's just that, I think we can make adjustments to our riding style to compensate for various discomforts.

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  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Burns View Post

    I wonder why there are not any grips on the market yet which can adjust a small range of "sweep" by rotating around an elliptical core.
    Like this? https://www.production-privee.com/en/product/grips/

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    That's interesting, yes like that. Those adjust to +-1.

    To me 1 doesn't seem like enough adjust 3

    Next thing you know, there'll be sweep bars that index like adjustable wings too.

    Ergo and Ergon brand style grips have wide wings for support, which demonstrate that there could be room enough to design a pivoting grip, from the inside, for more sweep adjustment.

    Another alternative many have tried, is to tape the handlebar and use layered thickness.

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  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by irv_usc View Post
    Took the bar on it's maiden voyage. Results so far are promising. I made it through a 15mi ride without any issues where I was starting to feel discomfort on mile 7 or 8 with the old bar.

    I had forgotten the specs, but the SQlab bar is wider than my old one, 780mm to 750mm. With the increased angle, the reach is 50mm or so shorter, since they do not bend forward first. I had been considering a shorter stem but now don't think I'll need it.

    Steering is adequate, I don't take the rigid single speed on any gnarly trails so I don't know if I'll have any more data points for you.Click image for larger version. 

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    how are you liking those now? I just ordered a 12 degree bar, and I plan to use it full-length. I might cut it to as short as 740mm but I want to get the position afforded by the width+bend.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    how are you liking those now? I just ordered a 12 degree bar, and I plan to use it full-length. I might cut it to as short as 740mm but I want to get the position afforded by the width+bend.
    I'm definitely liking the 16 sweep. the width of my shoulders allows for my wrists to be pretty much inline with my forearms at the grip position for the full length of the bar, so I probably won't be cutting them shorter.

    Pretty happy with my choice of the larger sweep angle. May go with a matching carbon version at some point for my other bike. I kinda want to try a 20 sweep bar sometime but I haven't found one in the width I want.

  74. #74
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    Spent a long time finding comfort. From stock straight to wide! 800 mm Kore torsions, and a variety of grips, bar ends, etc. For me the cushiest grips can never take the place of optimal hand/wrist/arm positions which are unique for every riders anatomy.
    Finally settled on Origin 8 Space Bar Off Road II 650mm with a 40 deg bend, and Odi Rogue grips.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by arphaxhad View Post
    Spent a long time finding comfort. From stock straight to wide! 800 mm Kore torsions, and a variety of grips, bar ends, etc. For me the cushiest grips can never take the place of optimal hand/wrist/arm positions which are unique for every riders anatomy.
    Finally settled on Origin 8 Space Bar Off Road II 650mm with a 40 deg bend, and Odi Rogue grips.
    Same experience. I've tried an embarrassing number of bars/grips, but the OR2 was pretty ideal for my dimensions/needs. I was happy with the original Mary (635/45 IIRC) way back when, but OR2 is a touch wider and much stronger. I'm using the 720/20/20 on my only current bike (geared FS) but yesterday began work on getting back to SS after a 2 year layoff. Can't wait! Thanks for reminding me how good this bar is.

  76. #76
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    Built this bike up last week around the chrome steel Soma Eagle handlebar.

    Since then I've ridden over 100 miles on it.

    Conclusions are forming. Changes are coming.

    For the moment I can say that these bars are going to stay on the bike because I like them, but they aren't perfect either.

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  77. #77
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    Shimano Pro ergo grips courtesy from one of my wife's bikes, she didn't like them, improved the comfort and grip of the Some Eagle handlebar.

    Eccentric set up for sure. I have never seen this handlebar in the wild.

    Liking a lot.

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  78. #78
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    Not an SS but it's a bar question so...
    I have Jones bars on all of my bikes. Wolftooth foam grips on the fatbike and ESI foam grips on the Krampus and other fattie.
    I had a poorly done surgical repair on my right forearm. straight bars make my wrist hurt BAD after long rides. The Jones bars allow hours of biking with zero pain.
    I like turtles

  79. #79
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    I am running ESI grips and they have been a game changer. was on Ergon grips with the wide palm and that helped but the ESI's are on a whole other level.

  80. #80
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    I'm trying Oury slip-ons.... definitely less harsh than the Oury lock-on,Rogue lock-on, or any other lock-on I've tried. But the rubber it is still a bit harsher than ESI Chunkie's foam.

  81. #81
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    Super interesting thread... And @Dickys post is a great resource for sure.

    I grew up on rigid SS (BMX) back in the 70s-80s, and stopped riding squishy/shifty mountain bikes in the mid 2000s.

    Ive currently got two, rigid, steel frame/fork single speeds. Both with 1-1.5 saddle to bar drop. Both with 760mm, 5* Carver ti Prybars. Both with Ergon GA2 grips. One with a Duro Crux 29x3.25 front tire (10psi), and one with a 60tpi 29x3 Dirt Wizard (12psi). Both with similar reach.

    I wear specialized, full finger, padded, body geometry gloves. These are key. Ive converted folks who swore (like I used to) that padded palms were a no go.

    Ive tried big sweep bars and dont like the (imho) lack of control/stability on steep, chunky, fast and techy downhills. For me, having a wider, more perpendicular grip on the bars just feels and works better.

    Ive run lots of carbon bars, and have broken and/or gouged many pairs. They may be a tad more comfortable (and way lighter), but I like my $99 forever bars.

    I ran the ergon paddle grips with the built-in carbon bar ends for several years and thought Id never switch, but then tried ESI Chunkys, and switched. Eventually hated how quickly and easily I ripped up the ends of the ESIs on trees, plus how freakin annoying they are (for me) to install. So tried the Ergons. Awesome compromise.

    Heres one cockpit...

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCSS View Post
    I wear specialized, full finger, padded, body geometry gloves. These are key. Ive converted folks who swore (like I used to) that padded palms were a no go.

    Nice setup. Are you using the BG gel gloves (listed as "Road" gloves on their website)? BG non-gel "Sport" road gloves? I used the short-fingered MTN BG gel gloves for ~10 rides but never really...gelled with them. The ribbed padding provided awesome protection but the ribs felt overly pronounced to me, making my grip feel sorta awkward (less than seamless).

  83. #83
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    Hey Ryder1, Im honestly not sure what Specialized calls this model, but it looks like this. Older version on top...

    The ribbed pads are weird, but they completely disappear (for me) when riding.

  84. #84
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    Thanks for the photo. Those look like the gel pads. I think mine were basically the same but short-fingered. The gel pads definitely work as advertised and overall fit was great. I think I may prefer a more direct, tactile hand-on-grip riding experience, comfort be damned. I've even considered riding gloveless but figured crashes could get ugly.

  85. #85
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    On a different tack, and I should post this on the Alt-bar thread(s)....

    More normal bars, low sweep risers or flat, are probably better to use with a dropper post, if a dropper post is being used.

    I'm going through positioning an J bar / h bar and I'm finding the position to be very fussy with respect the angles, reach and height.

    It occurs to me that a dropper post will change everything with a radical sweep bar, whereas a more normal bar works fine with a dropper post.



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  86. #86
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    - a set of carbon bars with ESI Chunkies, works great.......
    Rigid 29er Ti SS
    KHS Solo One SE 29er
    29er SC Tallboy AL
    Paketa Magnesium Road Bike

  87. #87
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    ESI Extra Chunky grips for me.

    https://esigrips.com/mtb-grips/extra-chunky-grips

    I've fractured both my wrist in the past so carbons bars make a difference for me. Aluminum bars "sting".

  88. #88
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    Did a 40 mile 5,000 feet of climbing ride last Sunday on the Soma Eagle bars with Ergo grips tuned for comfort.

    It worked great. No numbness or discomfort.

    Finished on a technical descent. Could not keep up with my buddy on a late model full suspension Ibis on that trail, but on everything else the rigid SS is dominant.

    It works fine. Does it look okay? No not sure. Most people react with horror, so it's not perceived with admiration.

    I lowered the seat ny using the QR for the big descent, which was a very good idea, and I didn't have any problem.

    Still, I have no argument with the contention that a more traditional mild sweep and rise wide mountain handlebar is the best set up overall.

    This bar took a couple of weeks and a stem swap to make it functional.

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  89. #89
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    Ok, I finally installed my SQ Labs 16 degree handlebars. Only one ride but I like them. Love the sweep, and they're super compliant. Yes, I have a squish fork on this bike but these would be an excellent fit on my rigid.

    They're pretty wide but I didn't clip any trees. I guess they're only 20mm wider than my other handlebars. They also have a bit of rise which is nice.

    Sorry for the crappy cell phone pics, but you get the idea. Please ignore the stem in the complete bike pic, it was just used for assembly.

    RIGID riders: What bars, grips for comfort? Hands are getting beat up!-img_7324.jpg

    RIGID riders: What bars, grips for comfort? Hands are getting beat up!-img_7341.jpg

    RIGID riders: What bars, grips for comfort? Hands are getting beat up!-img_7342.jpg
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  90. #90
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    ESI Extra Chunky

    - ESI Extra Chunky
    - Ritchey WCS Trail carbon bars (780mm)
    - SIngletrack Solutions bar ends

    Had this setup on another singlespeed with Answer Protaper AL bars and had some numbing after about an hour and a half. Have zero hand numbness with these carbon bars. EDIT: Sorry, completely missed the rigid part.

    RIGID riders: What bars, grips for comfort? Hands are getting beat up!-20180825_162753.jpg
    Please donate to IMBA or your local IMBA chapter. It's trail karma.

  91. #91
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    So, the Soma Eagle bar has turned out to be a beautiful thing on my 2013 Jamis Dragon 853 steel 29'er single speed.

    This past weekend has convinced me that not only is the Eagle aesthetically pleasing, but also functional.

    Soma says this on their site:


    "This bar is similar to the Jeff Jones bar, but the grips are more angled back and the forward extensions are shorter. You could also use the extension as a second hand position or install brake and shift levers there."

    I don't know about you, but that quote doesn't make much sense to me either. I just saw them and looked at the specs to decide if I would try them.

    650mm wide

    55 back sweep

    10mm rise

    31.8

    It has taken some adapting and adjustment to riding style to use these on the trail single speeding, but I like them.

    It seems as though these bars are really aimed at the niche of bar con shifter folk. Perhaps.

    Yesterday I did a 40 mile 5,000 foot ride on the Mendocino redwoods trails with these and came out with no numbness or wrist pain at all.

    I didn't have a seat dropper on the bike.

    I did lower the seat using a quick release for a good number of downhills, pausing at the top to lower it, and again at the bottom to raise it for the next climb.

    I had to lower the saddle to ride the trails aggressively and be able to get my weight around and back for manuals. It's a full rigid bike.

    The climbs were punchy sometimes. Some up hill log overs amd roots were in the way. I was able to get the bike to behave with the bar.

    Now it's not going to be the favorite bike/handlebar I will ever have, but it's fun to ride something different yet capable.

    The narrow 650mm width was great in the narrow twisty tree sections.

    Somehow the angle of the grip area made a very secure place to grip when really yanking on the difficult climbs.

    Someone said that the position was a lot like grabbing bar ends that people used to run. It's true. It's a little like holding bar ends, yet having the brakes right there.

    It was really good at leaning the bike for subtle steering input. And, sort of at times, like steering a boat with a tiller.



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